... but he retains a lot of Labour's Jewish supporters too.
Tony Greenstein has the story.Last week Corbyn was the friend of Putin. This week Corbyn is an anti-Semite. The charge of the false anti-Semitism brigade has been led by Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and various right-wing Labour MPs.
Could this be the same Jonathan Arkush who welcomed Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, his anti-Semitic alt-Right Advisor, to power? As the Jewish Forward in America reported ‘Anti-Semitic incidents, from bomb threats and cemetery desecration to assaults and bullying, have surged in the United States since the election of President Donald Trump.’
Throughout his campaign Trump gave a nod and a wink to blatant anti-Semitic messages and caricatures. As the New Republic observed ‘Donald Trump is doing a very strange pro-Israel, anti-Semitic dance.’ And therein lies the clue. Trump and the alt-Right combine anti-Semitism with vehement support for Zionism. The alt-Right might not like American Jews very much but they love Israel.
Naomi Zeveloff of the Forward wrote,an article, in shock and surprise, in the Jewish Forward, How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time. Historically Zionism and anti-Semitism were two sides of the same racist coin. As the founder of Political Zionism Theodor Herzl wrote:
“In Paris ... I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-semitism.”
Zionism has never fought anti-Semitism because it starts from the basis that anti-Semitism is a hereditary disease that all non-Jews possess. That is what makes this false anti-Semitism campaign no nauseating.
We have the phenomenon today of people like Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi founder of the alt-Right declaring that he is a White Zionist. If you are a white supremacist what is there not to like about Israel. It is the ideal ethno-racial state. That is the clue to Arkush’s outbursts – it’s not anti-Semitism that he is concerned with but opposition to Israel. If Corbyn had been like Tony Blair, a supporter of Israel and Zionism then he would not have received such treatment. It is no accident that Arkush demanded today that Jackie Walker, a Black Jewish anti-racist activist be expelled. This is the logic of the false anti-Semitism campaign – it is anti-Zionist and anti-racist Jews who are their primary targets. That was why I was expelled.